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Arm Lift Surgery

 Plastic Surgery Helps Reshape Your Body

As we age, sagging in the upper arms is quite common. Excess skin can be due to aging, or due to a significant weight loss. Whatever the cause, an arm lift, or brachioplasty at London Lipo Institute, can help.

The skin on the upper arms is very thin and not very resilient, which is why everyone will have some amount of drooping skin, as they grow older. That’s why no matter how hard you try; it’s often impossible to get rid of the excess sagging skin on your arms using exercise alone. And even though the sagging skin on the upper arms may seem insignificant compared to the larger amounts of sagging skin elsewhere on the body, everyone can easily see the arms.

But here’s the good news. An arm lift is a relatively straightforward procedure that poses few risks and offers patients a relatively easy recovery. The best way to determine if you’re a candidate for an arm lift is to request a consultation with one of our expert  surgeons.

Helping You Regain Your Slim Appearance

After significant weight loss, you may have excess skin resulting in saggy looking upper arms. An arm lift will help you regain a more youthful appearance, and restore confidence in how you look.

Often, an arm lift is used in conjunction with other body contouring surgeries including breast and abdominal surgery to create a complete transformation of the body contour. During your office consultation, your surgeon can review the different procedures that are available to you in addition to an arm lift.

Are You A Candidate for Brachioplasty – arm lift surgery?

If you have lost a significant amount of weight and you’re left with SIGNIFICANT sagging upper arms that are impacting your appearance and hurting your self confidence, you’re probably a good candidate for the this type of surgery.

Most people have some loose skin on their arms, but our plastic surgeon would not recommend an armlift if he believes the surgery and the resultant scar is not worth the small improvement in patients who do not have a lot of loose skin.

The best way to determine if an arm lift is right for you is to discuss the reasons that you want the procedure with a plastic surgeon during your consultation.

The surgery will be performed in our facility, and will take about two hours. Your surgeon will determine the best place to make the incision. There are basically two types of arm lift procedures; the traditional arm lift, and the extended arm lift.

In the traditional arm lift surgery, the incision is made on the underside of the arm. This gives the doctor access to removing larger areas of loose skin.

In the extended arm lift surgery, the incision is extended along the arm down to the body, in order to remove loose skin and fatty tissue along the chest wall area. This is a common problem with patients who have lost large amounts of weight.

In both procedures, there are many different types of arm lifts that depend on your specific circumstances, and the surgeon will discuss the various options with you.

The procedure is performed under IV sedation and tumescent anaesthesia. Your surgeon will make the incision either on the inside of the arm or on the back of the arm, depending on your specific amount and location of excess skin. This incision will generally extend from the armpit area to just above the elbow. The excess fat in the arms may be removed, or in some cases, treated using liposuction.

The underlying supportive tissue is tightened and reshaped using internal sutures. Once the incision is made, excess skin is tightened and trimmed, and the remaining skin is sutured in place using sutures that will be absorbed by the body. Multiple sutures are placed in order to provide a pleasing contour to the arm.

After the procedure, patients will have swelling and bruising. The discomfort from the procedure will be managed by pain medication prescribed by your surgeon. In some cases, the doctor will place drainage tubes at the incision area in order to help drain any excess fluids during the first several days after surgery. Compression bandages are often worn to help promote healing.

Perhaps the most disconcerting part of the procedure is scarring. Because the upper arm skin is thin, scars tend to be more noticeable than on other parts of the body. However, your scars will be hidden when your arms are at your sides, but there is simply no way to remove all that excess skin without leaving a scar. The surgeon will do all he can to minimise the scarring. Placing the incision on the inside of the arm, for example, will help to make the scars less conspicuous.

Your recovery will be relatively quick. You’ll have pain medication prescribed to help with the post-operative discomfort. While recovery time varies from patient to patient, most people return to work within a week, and resume all their activities within one month. Of course, if you combine brachioplasty with other post weight loss procedures, your recovery time will increase.

The surgeon will see you the day after your surgery and at specified intervals during the weeks that follow. This is so the surgeon can personally monitor your recovery, and to ensure that you have the best results possible.

Complementary Post Weight Loss Procedures

The most common reason for arm lift surgery is extensive weight loss. And while the surgery will remove the droopy, sagging skin on your arms, it won’t help other areas of your body like sagging breasts or excessive skin around the stomach area. That’s why many of our patients combine brachioplasty with breast and/or abdominal procedures that provide a full transformation of your body.

Breast Surgery

When women lose excessive amounts of weight, the breasts are affected by a loss of volume and sagging. There are different options available for helping to restore a more youthful, healthy appearance.

For women who experience small to moderate deflation and sagging, a breast lift may be all that is needed. Women with very large breasts may still require breast reduction even after significant weight loss. And if you find your breasts appear sagging or appearing “empty,” you may want to consider breast augmentation or augmentation with a breast lift.

Your surgeon will talk with you and listen to your concerns and discuss your goals in order to make a recommendation about the best additional options for you after weight loss.

Midsection and Torso

Not surprisingly, after excessive weight loss the most excess skin is found around your midsection. That’s where the amount of excess and loose skin is most visible. Almost everyone who loses large amounts of weight requires some revision in this area.

The surgeon can discuss various options that are available to you to address this part of your body. By helping you understand the terminology, you’ll have a better understanding of what is available to you.

Here are some terms to become familiar with:

  • Abdominoplasty: There are two types of abdominoplasty; abdominoplasty and extended abdominoplasty. Abdominoplasty is used to revise the lower abdominal area, moving up to the belly button area. The extended abdominoplasty goes around to the sides of the torso.
  • Paniculectomy: This procedure is done to remove excess skin and fat on the lower front of the abdomen. This is a simple ‘amputation’ of the skin and is not a cosmetic procedure. The goal is address health concerns due to an excessively large abdominal skin flap. To create a cosmetically appropriate appearance, tighten the abdominal muscles, and liposuction additional fat, abdominoplasty would be required.
  • Lower body lift: This is an extensive procedure that is designed to reshape the entire torso. In addition to helping reshape the midsection, it also has a lifting effect on the buttocks and outer thighs.

Arm Lift Surgery FAQ

Is there any special preparation required for arm lift surgery?

Depending on the types of medications you take, the doctor may ask you to alter some of your medications. Specifically, you will need to stop any medication and supplements that may increase your risk of bleeding and bruising (such as aspirin, omega3 and others). Additionally, you are required to stop smoking completely to help minimise the risk of complications during the surgery.

What happens in the operating room?

During your procedure, the surgeon will make an incision from the elbow to the armpit, providing access to remove skin, fat and tissue. Once the excess skin is removed, along with excess fat and tissue, sutures are placed along the incision, providing a flattering contour to the arm. The procedure generally takes about 2 hours from start to finish.

What is the recovery process?

Fortunately, recovery for arm lift surgery is relatively short. You’ll need to limit your physical exertion for the first week following the procedure, and for about a month following your operation there will be some swelling. Many patients return to work in only one week following arm lift surgery.

Will there be scarring?

Yes, you will have a scar on the inside of your upper arm. As with all scars, it will heal over time. The scar will be placed in an inconspicuous location so it will hardly be noticeable, and when your arms are at your sides, it won’t be seen at all.

Are there any complications with arm lift surgery?

There are a few risks associated with arm lift surgery. There’s potential for delayed healing, scarring and seroma – a condition when fluid pools in the body causing swelling. During your consultation, the surgeon will review all the potential complications and the steps we take to minimise any risks.

Find out more

You can find out more about arm lift surgery on our blog pages. At London Lipo Institute, we have a number of plastic surgeons experienced in arm lift surgery. To book a free consultation, please call us on 01923 801601 or email info@londonlipoinstitute.com. Alternatively, please fill out the contact box below and a member of our team will get in touch with you.

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